At least 10 RI group homes have COVID-19 outbreaks; more than 100 residents test positive


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There are 10 group homes that have had outbreaks of COVID-19, Rhode Island Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott said Friday.

In total, Alexander-Scott said 123 group home residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

One of those residents, who had underlying health conditions, is the youngest COVID-19 related death in Rhode Island to date, Alexander-Scott said. The resident was in their 20s.

Alexander-Scott said the state is taking steps to protect those living in what’s referred to as “congregate living settings.”

“With every congregate living situation, we are taking very aggressive infection control protocols,” she said.

Many group homes have set up quarantine centers for residents who test positive, like Venture Community Services in Massachusetts.

“We have ended up taking most of our 44 homes and doing a shelter-in-place model, where three or four staff at a time, who have volunteered, are around the clock caretakers,” Venture Community Services CEO Michael Hyland said.

Hyland said like the rest of Massachusetts, Venture will not relocate any of its 300 residents throughout the pandemic. He said Venture has had two confirmed cases, adding that both residents are hospitalized and are expected to recover.

With day services canceled, Hyland said employees are now coming up with ways to keep residents active.

“So we have deployed [employees] to each of the group homes so they can replicate the dayhab structure in the residential programs on an ongoing basis,” Hyland said.

Venture’s staff is also delivering good and essential items to the group homes, Hyland said. Many have also made cloth face coverings for employees and residents.

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